Winter comes with dark and mysterious tastes to match it’s dark and disturbing days. The porter and the stout, the spiced seasonals, and the browbeating barley wine.
As the dark nights continue and the winter weather takes hold, it’s a time for warming beers and full-bodied flavours. So if you’re looking for a drink to settle down by the fire with, we’ve put together a list of some of the top stouts and porters to see you through to spring. Here are five of the best dark beers to make sure you try this winter:
Stay Puft is a marshmallow porter, which means it offers a sweet twist in the traditionally bitter style of beer. It has the classic strong malty qualities of a proper dark beer, but this is paired with a rounded sweetness and almost overwhelmingly smooth flavour.
It balances its flavours carefully, making it a perfect sweet treat for a cold winter’s night.
Where can you buy it? The Tiny Rebel online shop
Price (RRP): £2.20
Moor – Dark Alliance
Is there such a thing as a bad Moor beer? If so, it certainly isn’t Dark Alliance. It is a hoppy coffee stout best drunk whilst still young and those hoppy flavours are still prominent. It was originally brewed as a collaboration beer with Arbor Ales but thankfully for us, it proved popular enough for them to carry on making it as a rotating seasonal.
Where can you buy it? Buy on Eebria
Magic Rock – Dark Arts
Dark Arts, like its name suggests, holds some kind of magic in its warming depths. This ale blends four malts and a glorious amount of hops to deliver a decadently deep and indulgent experience.
It has a smooth mouthfeel, followed by spicy notes from those aforementioned hops, along with full flavours of chocolate, liquorice and berries. The finish is rich and satisfying with a lingering roasted bitterness. A stout to convert you to the dark side.
Where can you buy it? Magic Rock Brewing
Northern Monk – Festive Star
According to Northern Monk, to celebrate the Christmas holiday spirit they took their classic mocha porter and “jazzed it up with classic warm winter spices, namely cinnamon and nutmeg”.
Festive Star is basically the equivalent of mulled wine in beer form, only brewed with roasted barley and coffee beans. So sit back, cosy up with your loved ones and crack a few open to make your merriest memories of the year. Thankfully, you’ll still find some cans knocking about even after Christmas, often at a reduced priced. But if the festive spirit is too much for you once Santa has packed up and gone home, then check out Northern Star’s super smooth Mocha Porter.
Where can you buy it?
Available directly from Northern Star’s online store.
Siren – Breakfast Shake
The final beer on the list is from Siren’s experimental Project Barista Series. It is the most expensive and perhaps the most challenging on the list. An Imperial Wheat Stout with Coffee & Cacao that comes in at a punchy 9.5% ABV.
The blend of coffee, honey, cocoa powder, almonds and banana all come through as you taste the beer. They used a rather mind-puzzling 13 different speciality malts in the brew, alongside the addition of cacao husks for a deep ultra-dark chocolate flavour. Because that wasn’t quite intense enough they also threw in cacao nibs for a creamy milk-chocolate feel and a load of Climpson & Son’s Brasil Espresso roasted coffee beans.
This is a complex beer for the dark-minded beer enthusiast and would make the perfect accompaniment to your sticky winter warmer pudding by the fire, after a hearty roast dinner.
Where can you buy it? Available from Beerhawk